Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Jan 2015)

typed for your pleasure on 25 January 2015, at 2.26 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Roosting time’ by Matt Berry

Happy 20145! I’ve already done that gag with a lot of my friends, but you’ve not heard it, so it’s new to you.
The idea of this actually, legitimately being 2015, a year in the twenty-first century, is a bit weird if you think about it for too long. Consider how futuristic that date sounded in, say, 1965. It still sounds a bit futuristic today, and we’ve already begun living in it! One thing’s for certain, though: there needs to be a rapid increase in the development of flying cars, megastructures, off world colonies, and most importantly, Replicants. We’ve got four years to get society to the way it’s depicted in ‘Blade runner’, and we really don’t have time to stop and gawp at the calendar!…

+ To that end, Toshiba is doing their part, with their own electric maiden, Chihiro Aiko. Remember her? She made her US debut at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and has I known she was going to be there, I would’ve bought one plane ticket to fly out, and two for the return flight, as she’d be coming home with me. You think I’m joking?

She took the opportunity to show off her aptitude in American Sign Language, as well as her singing ability. Unfortunately, the song she had a go at was ‘Take me home, country roads’. I would’ve had her belt out an earnest rendition of France Gall’s ‘Cet air-là‘, but that’s just me.
As fellow robosexual Vokabre, aka Our Man In Russia, reports on his blog:

What’s quite cute is that in the presentation they not only included some data like the number of pneumatic drives (it’s 43 overall, 15 in the face, 4 in the body and 24 in shoulders and arms), but also the virtual “age” of the lady, it’s 32. Reminds me of how Actroid DER2 liked to call herself 18 years old.
They also managed to break down not only the “family name” Chihira that was done before during the first public appearance of Aiko, but the name Aiko itself, according to the presentation it means “Idea and Communication”, “I CO”. That Orient symbolism in everything, so awesomely strange.

Of course, I’d be glad to see a presentation with interactivity, face-tracking and hand-shaking, but this might be too much for an early project.

It is indeed an early project, many people in the internets continue to call Chi Aiko creepy, that’s a good old uncanny valley. What’s also interesting, there’s more Uncanny Valley screams in western languages than in orient ones which lays perfectly with my observations that Japanese, Korean and Chinese people seems to have more tolerance towards androids.


‘Il restera cet air-là / à jamais au fond de moi / car pour toujours cet air-là / parlera de toi et moi’

It’s my hope that Chihiro-san can help open the eyes of Westerners who still believe in the myth of the uncanny valley. Over time, exposure to anything makes it less alien of a thing, so to that end, Toshiba should consider employing Chihiro-san — really, multiple Chihiro-sans — with either assisting the deaf with her knowledge of sign language, or start grooming her as a singer.

+ Now here’s a stirring way to celebrate the beginning of a new year: Polymerisian starlet and entrepreneur Tasha James has put the finishing touches on another one of her amazing photobooks, this one entitled ‘Soul to Sole’.

It’s true, we’d inspired her! As my Missus and I are quite keen on the female foot, we’d suggested to Tasha that she have her photographer Paul do a shoot featuring her own delectable soles, toes, and heels, and she followed suit. So I suppose that’s another photobook that we’re ordering from her. Damnit Tash, how do you know the right buttons to push??

If you’d like a copy of ‘Soul to Sole’ or any of her other photobooks for your very own, and why wouldn’t you, you’d be mad not to, you can check out the details on her site here. As she says in her announcement post, she’s open to suggestions, so if you’ve got an idea that she and Paul think would be worth pursuing, give her a shout!


We here at Deafening silence Plus fully endorse more of this sort of thing

+ It looks like AL-M 008X-01 has been moving up in the world of late! You may know AL-M 008X-01 as Android ASUNA, and towards the end of last December, she worked with self-styled DJ, model, photographer, and music producer Julie Watai to participate in a photo series entitled ‘Love Valley’. Over eighteen days, the two of them modelled various clothes and poses that reflected a blurring of the lines between Organik and Synthetik, and the results are worth seeing.

There’s not a lot of information about the shoot, apart from an entry on Asuna-chan’s blog, so I’m tempted to see if writing Ms Watai would provide any further insight. Still, the pics are well-executed and definitely lovely to look at. A short video was made as well, so one can see how lifelike and blinky Asuna-chan is:

All eighteen days worth of the ‘Love Valley’ shoot can be found on Julie Watai’s website here: http://juliewatai.jp/love-valley.

+ Domestic Doll studio Ruby13 is on the verge of releasing some new faces, starting this year, so that’s pretty awesome, I’d say! In an Email conversation, head sculptor Jim told me this:

after a year of looking for a sculptor to make some new faces for Ruby I’ve given up and decided to give it a try myself. I’ve never sculpted so this was a bit of a daunting task to both learn to sculpt and then try to come up with a “pretty” female face.

So far I have 3 new faces that are going in to be made into molds. these faces are an answer to the many emails we’ve received asking for a more realistic face option. I hope this will open up our market a bit.

This would be the first of the new faces, and I believe we can all agree, Jim is off to an excellent start…

Part of me, though, thinks he’s stretching the truth a wee bit. He claims that he’s never sculpted before, and yet, he’s come up with that captivating face?? ‘Oh, I’ve never painted anything before’, said Hieronymus Bosch as he effortlessly proceeds to realise in full oils his triptych of ‘The Garden of Earhly Delights’. Come on, man.
Nevertheless, she has an appealing European look to her, and I told Jim that I think it’s one of the best faces available so far. I’d said, ‘I think it’s one of the best faces available so far’. Now Ruby13 will have more to offer potential iDollators! As soon as I find out when that as-yet-unnamed face is for sale, I’ll be sure to mention it here…

+ Would you believe that I’ve done another interview? Impossible as it may seem, I have. This past December, a lass by the name of Miss Metaverse contacted me through Twitter, and asked if I’d be keen on answering some questions pertaining to Dolls, Gynoids, and the future of artificial humans. As Miss Metaverse runs a blog which centres round future technology and lifestyles, and as her questions enquired about Gynoids as much as they did about Dolls, I readily agreed.
Both Miss Metaverse and I dug the end result, which can be read on her blog here: Futurist Spotlight: Davecat. If you like, you can also read the preceding post which led up to it, which is also Recommended Reading, ‘Sex Robots and the Future of Gynoids‘, and if you enjoyed that, you can read her whole dang blog. I mean, what’s stopping you?

Since Futurist Miss Metaverse has quite a bit of experience in discussing impending technological developments through her writing and video talks, it seemed only natural to add her to the ‘Shouting etc etc’ sidebar as well. See?

+ And finally, this would be a… thing… that Sidore, Elena, Muriel, and I slapped together at the end of 2014. I honestly don’t know what to call it. The Missus said we should do something rather like the alternative Christmas message that they sometimes have in the UK that’s a counterpoint to the facile and condescending annual message that Elizabeth II bestows upon her subjects. Morrissey was asked if he would do one last year, and that’s probably what inspired Shi-chan. (He turned the request down.)
Shortly before that time, I got it into my head that I needed a Vine account, and I created two superb videos for it, until I discovered that Vine only allows you to upload vertically-shot clips. Sorry; if you’re only shooting your videos vertically, you need to be shot. Luckily, I recalled that Mobypicture lets you upload videos whether they’re vertically-shot or in proper horizontal, and you’re not limited to six seconds as you are with Vine. So I shot this video/clip/missive/whatever with the lasses. Observe:


click the image to open the video

As Elena loves Cocteau twins, she selected the song you hear, which would be ‘Oomingmak’. Incidentally, that’s also the first public appearance of our karakuri ningyou. Much to our disappointment, he doesn’t seem to move well on carpet, but as his plastic gears are noisy as hell when in motion, I suppose it’s for the best.
Maybe we’ll film one of these videos annually! Cos frankly, having 360-odd days between conceiving each one and actually doing it fits our pace to a T!

I think those new bits & bobs should keep you reasonably informed. Start the new year off with Synthetik humans! Well, start each day off with Synthetik humans; that’s what I say.
Originally this would’ve been another two-part post, but then I realised by the time I finished assembling the second part, it’d be February. So, err, come back in a week or so!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (July 2011) on July 23rd, 2011

Machine intelligence, machine sexiness on September 25th, 2009


Remnants and a replica

typed for your pleasure on 15 December 2014, at 10.37 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Mountain’ by Le futur pompiste

Many of you will be pleased to learn that Amber Hawk Swanson, performance artist and iDollator, is currently in the midst of doing another Synthetiks-related piece; this one entitled DOLL CLOSET. In brief: when she joined our crowd for DolLApalooza 2013, she’d met fellow iDollator Jesse1965, where he’d explained how his first Synthetik companion, a 1998-era RealDoll named Heather, was cleverly concealed in a secret closet in the upstairs part of his home. He’d made use of available space, and built a door equipped with a locking mechanism for it, concealing the lock in an existing knothole in the wood, which is about as impressive as you think it is.

At some point, Amber decided that she would replicate that closet in the performance space she’s using at The Watermill Center, which meant, in typical Amber Hawk Swanson style, she’d be building a door frame, the accompanying door, and the locking mechanism, all from scratch. Jesse will be calling in periodically for assistance, and the remaindered pieces of Heather’s body that weren’t used in Amber’s 2013 performance, Sidore Mark II / Heather > LOLITA, would be bearing witness.
Although woodworking’s not really my thing, the aspect of this performance that I think is really cool is that it’s metaphorical as well. As the outline reads:

In Doll Closet, Amber Hawk Swanson transforms the process of building and the resulting replica as a platform for members of the doll community — and Jesse specifically — to respond to mainstream misrepresentation of doll ownership. The performance highlights alternative narratives of owners who use their relationships to dolls as a way to explore their own gender, obtain uncomplicated companionship, and connect with a community in the face of social anxiety and loneliness. Doll Closet not only provides a necessary vehicle for members of the doll community to speak for themselves without risking their anonymity, but also asks what kinds of intimacies, relations, and unanticipated connections can flourish in secrecy. It explores how the interior space of the closet can be rendered as both capacious and collective.

So as you can see, it’s a space where, while Amber constructs a replica closet, other iDollators can open up anonymously about the spaces where they may keep their replica women.
Yeah, Amber’s summary sounds much better, I agree.

DOLL CLOSET was closed on Sunday, and I’d intended to post this before Monday, but my site’s having embarrassing backend issues. Which sounds more disgusting than anything else, but nevertheless. But you still have a few days left to watch the Livestream Amber’s had set up. And as I clearly didn’t give you any heads-up prior to this — I’m full of mea culpas this eve — you can view the performances of the previous days on her Vimeo channel. Although I wasn’t physically at the performance, I did add my .02 pfennig on Saturday, as did a couple of other iDollators. It’s Amber’s hope that more people who have Dolls will contribute with their experiences as well before the project ends on the 17th, but failing that, it’ll still be art worth watching

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Whatever you do, don't lose that key on May 27th, 2009

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Feb 2013) on February 1st, 2013


Do come in! Just not all of you at once

typed for your pleasure on 29 November 2014, at 1.50 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Some days’ by Martial Canterel

Don’t we all, insidious cash register; don’t we all.

At Shouting to hear the echoes, the official blog of Deafening silence Plus, we do our utmost best to bring you the most information possible concerning artificial humans, 20th century architecture and design, and above all else, relevant news regarding Davecat, his wife Sidore Kuroneko, their live-in mistress Elena Vostrikova, and their flatmate Muriel Noonan. This blog has been chugging along for a wee bit over ten years, and it’s the visits of viewers like you that keep stoking the coal fire, as it were. Why, if you’re reading this post, that means that at some point very recently, ‘Shouting etc etc’ has had its 700,000 visitor gaze upon its countenance! That’s a lot of visitors! Heck, most people can’t even count up to 100,000 without taking off their trousers!

Anyway, we’d just like to publically recognise this milestone, with a heartfelt Thank You, to those of you who weren’t just here looking for photos of Synthetik women. And even if you were, we hope you enjoyed your stay, and sincerely hope you’ll be back for — as we like to say here — more of the same! Cos let’s face it: you really can’t get writing like this anywhere else

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Job upgrade: ACQUIRED / Springtime for Synthetiks / The practical application of Shinto on April 5th, 2013

Machine intelligence, machine sexiness on September 25th, 2009


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2014): Part II

typed for your pleasure on 21 November 2014, at 8.39 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Friendlies / Pamela + GG’ by US girls

Bit of a delay on this one (‘the Devil, you say’), as I was led to believe that Orient industry were going to be releasing new pics of their Ya su ra gi and Real Love Doll Ange models to their site on the 7th of this month, but they didn’t, damn them. They’ve got a Christmas campaign going instead, so if you don’t mind somewhat hefty import prices, now would probably be a good time for you to make your move.
I can, however, point out that late last month, they released a version of their CandyGirl line called Party Doll; its two models are Tomoko and Saori. What’s so unique about the Party Doll, you ask? Well, I’ve linked to a video below that encapsulates what they do, and I should point out that you really don’t want to watch it while at work. Unless you own the company!


click the image to open the video

For those of you who are hamstrung by NSFW issues, the Party Doll is a make of CandyGirl who, when you squeeze her right breast, dispenses beverages from her left nipple. That’s right. As you’ll note, the Tomoko-type is more of a traditional Japanese lass, as she wears a kimono, has hanafuda cards on her table, and dispenses sake, whereas her more Western-styled sister Saori is dressed as an employee at the Bunny Club, with her poker deck and wine glasses at the ready. Both lasses have cupboards beneath their tables, where you can store up to 900 ml of sake, or a 700 ml bottle of wine. A hose attaches to the opened bottle, and an electric pump keeps the bevvies flowing up through the hose and out of her nipple. To stop the pump, just stop squeezing her breast. I said ‘stop squeezing’. Jesus, man, have you no self-control?
Both versions of Party Doll have joints in their necks and arms, which would be their only articulation, so they’re less like Dolls, and more like the dispensers in the Korova Milkbar from ‘A clockwork orange’. Would I want one? I’m not so sure. For one, they do take up quite a bit of space — there are worse things to occupy one’s home, but still. Also, again, they’re more soft statues than Dolls, so while they excel at being conversation pieces, sculptures, and bevvy dispensers, you couldn’t have a relationship with them. Also, the fact that they run ¥1.6 million JPY (that’s about $17,300 USD) is the exact opposite of enticing. However, should I fall into money — literally fall into money, like sacks of cash with dollar signs screenprinted on them — I’ll buy a Tomoko-chan to keep me company in my home office…

+ Polymerisian entrepreneur, telly show actress, and pinup model Tasha James, who, as you’ll know, got her humble start in a little studio in southern California, has embarked on a new method to grant herself more exposure. She’s releasing a series of photobooks, expertly photographed by Paul Gorman, and they’re pretty fab. Currently she’s got ‘Dark & Moody’, ‘Candle Light’, and ‘Bedroom Lies & Pillow Talk’ on offer, and she’s just released her latest one, ‘Kink’, which looks to be properly pervy.

Each book is available in three formats: the 8×10 hardcover for $50, the 5×7 softcover for $30, and just $10 gets you the 3.5×2.75-sized minibook. If you like, you can have Tasha make an autograph out to you before she ships it out as well at no charge. As all of us here are very keen on her work, both as a Synthetiks advocate and a sexbomb, we’ve ordered a copy of ‘Kink’. We’ve already bought a copy of ‘Dark & Moody’, and it’s one of the neatest things we own.

Why not show your support for ravishing artists who just happen to be Polymerisian, and order one of Tasha’s photobooks? It’s the sort of book that would also look brilliant on your coffee table! Fact.

+ WOOP WOOP WOOP NEW 4WOODS HEAD ALERT
While I was busy assembling this post, they’d announced the debut of yet another attractive head for sale! Ladies and gelatin, please welcome Sonia.


Some people like dimples, others prefer seam lines

The Sonia head can only be used with the A.I.Doll Allure bodies, which is quite alright. There’s, ah, not much else to add to this bit of information, but really, what more needs to be said?


Lips ahoy

+ It should come as no surprise to anyone that I’m keen on the work and philosophy of Hiroshi Ishiguro, roboticist genius who developed the Actroid series of Gynoids. Really, if you’ve not seen his name mentioned anywhere on this blog, you’re apparently reading another blog entirely. As Ishiguro-san is always doing things to bring artificial humans into the mainstream, something like this is both unsurprising, and really unique:

Meet the robot actor starring in a play inspired by Kafka
by Leslie Katz | October 22, 2014 9:43 AM PDT

In Franz Kafka’s novella “The Metamorphosis,” Gregor Samsa famously wakes to discover he’s been transformed into a giant insect. In a decidedly modern theatrical take on the surreal story, Samsa wakes to find he’s a robot. A gangly, metallic, white-faced robot.

And who better to play Samsa-as-android in the new Japanese-French production than an actual bot? That robot, stage newcomer Repliee S1, stars in “La Metamorphose Version Androide,” which played in Yokohama, Japan, earlier this month and will run at the Autumn Festival in Normandy, France, in November.

“One morning in the near future, Gregor Samsa wakes up as an android,” reads a description of the play. “Gregor’s father (Jerome Kircher), his mother (Irene Jacob) and younger sister (Laetitia Spigarelli), after a period of doubt and caution, will strain to tame their fears and questions facing the new state of Gregor.”

While some futurists would no doubt view the chance to experience life as a robot as a welcome adventure, Kafka’s 1915 “The Metaphorphosis” tackles deep questions about identity, human connection and otherness.

“When people see a robot, like in an exhibition, you can tell people are not moved by it,” Japanese playwright and director Oriza Hirata says in the Agence France-Presse video. “I wanted to create a situation in which a robot could move an audience, and that’s how we came up with the idea of this project.”
the entire article is here

Apparently, this forward-thinking take on Kafka’s classic is one in a series of various plays that comprise director Oriza’s ‘Robot Theater Project’. You undoubtedly remember when Actroid-F took to the stage in 2010 for the play ‘Sayounara’? That was part of the project. The theatre company is called Seinendan, and, according to their website, last year they’d also done a version of Chekhov’s ‘Three sisters’, starring Actroid-F and two other non-humanoid robots. Very nice, and I definitely appreciate the fact that Oriza and Ishiguro sought to draw parallels between the transformation of Gregor Samsa into an insect who thinks and behaves like a human, and him changing into a machine who thinks and behaves like a human, but when can we expect ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’?
I’d just like to add this bit from here, that explains the goal of the Robot Theatre Project:

The Robot Theater Project was founded 5 years ago at Osaka University with the goal of displaying robot prototypes in a creative theatrical context. The expositions in which scientists participate in order to technologically compete with one another; do not solicit an emotional response from the public, even if they often are in admiration. Touching people emotionally with robots will offer a lot of fundamental research towards a future coexistence with robots, where one would not feel uncomfortable or anxious in their presence. (emphasis mine)

+ Titman, the titular Torontonian totally turning out terrific… christ. This is why I don’t usually do alliteration. It’s either difficult to construct, or it sounds entirely forced, or both. Anyway, Titman, head of Maidlee Doll, has taken a new approach with the affictitious ladies he creates, starting with their name. From now on, he’ll be selling Maid-Fong Dolls, and even better than that, they’ll be made from silicone, not latex. Huzzah!


‘I was told this dirndl qualifies me for Austrian citizenship’

Now, the company offers two versions of the previous head — one version has a dreamy half-awake expression — and the body features new joints at the knuckles, arms, knees, waist, hip and neck, movable eyes, and a handy neckbolt for suspension purposes. Maid-Fong is 5’2″, 82 lbs, has measurements of B:36DD / W:25 / H:38, and wears a US sz 5.5 – 6 shoe. And like many of the company’s contemporaries, they’re using platinum-based silicone, so that means more durability.


What is it with gingers and leopard print?

Leaving out prices for options, such as choice of entries, you can purchase your own Maid-Fong for only $3500 CAD, which is a rather nice price for an entry-level silicone companion. Be sure to pop round to the official site; there’s pics and videos available there, too.

+ For the longest time, Sidore and I had said that we were going to start watching Äkta människor, the Swedish telly show that centres round the premise of humanoid robots, or ‘Hubots’, and how various people interact with them. We’ve had the first two series from 2012 and 2013 sitting on our hard drive, waiting to be viewed, but much like about a hundred other programmes and films we want/need to see, we weren’t setting the time aside to sit down and actually watch it. All that’s changed, however! The Missus and I tore through our DVD copy of the first series, and found it to be extraordinary; it’s the sort of show that American telly would either never come up with on its own, or it would be something that an American telly producer would attempt to adapt for the domestic market, and water it down in the process. If you’re keen on the idea of Synthetik humans, or if you like good storytelling, or are partial to expert direction, are interested in the topic of roboethics, or all of the above, you definitely need to see this show.


Any faster and their eyelids will melt

But what lit a fire under our collective arses and made us start off to begin with? A Twitter account by the name of Cyborg vs Robot began following me; their bio reads ‘Christa Couture and Five Seventeen recap the Swedish TV series Real Humans (Äkta människor) and other robotic depictions’. Five, the male robot, and Christa, the female cyborg, discuss what their findings and reactions were for each episode of Äkta människor — they’ve just released a podcast covering the last episode of season one — they also touch upon other Synthetiks-related short films and shows. In their first episode, Five and Christa cover the first episode of Small wonder, reminding me how bizarre and abysmal a programme it is. Despite that, they manage to dig up some interesting tidbits: for example, I didn’t know that Small wonder was created by Howard Leeds, who was the same bloke who developed a much better telly show having to do with an artificial human several years earlier — My living Doll, starring Julie Newmar, from 1964.
Overall, the Cyborg vs Robot podcast is a low-key, laidback affair with two neat hosts, covering topics that will pique the interests of discriminating readers such as yourself. Yourselves. Etc.

+ Finally, you may recall that back in July, I’d tried to get some information out about A-Lab’s Gynoid inaccurately named Android Asuna, but there wasn’t a lot in English, or even in Japanese, for me to pass along. Well, thankfully that’s changed! Our Asuna made her debut at the recent Tokyo Genius Expo, and despite the fact that there were other robots, as well as all manner of art, music, and design exhibits on display, she kinda stole the show by nature of her verisimillitude. She also seems a bit sassy. As she’s styled to have the appearance of a fifteen year old, I guess that’s par for the course.

Like many modern Gynoids, she’s driven by what A-Lab refer to as an APDS (Air Perfomaer [sic] Drive System), which seems to be their proprietary pneumatic system. She also features silicone skin, which is to be expected.
I may have stretched the truth a wee bit: there’s not a tremendous amount of info available as yet: A-Lab’s website doesn’t have an English page, and translating through Chrome basically garnered the info you’ve just read. But the site says it will have a gallery soon, and Asuna seems to have her own blog on it as well. Not a lot of entries to date, as she’s been undoubtedly too busy with this Tokyo Genius Expo to update it, but my favourite entry on 20 June starts with ‘As usual, I am a not speak can not move, and when I was spacing out standing in the corner, and I have been surrounded by the customer after the talk show.’ Yeah, I think we’ve all been there at some point, Asuna-chan.
In lieu of more information, which I’m sure is forthcoming, I shall end this post with a couple of photos.

…there’s not a lot of photos of Android Asuna available. *throws up hands*

So there you are! If I’d have planned things out better, this month’s post would’ve been in three parts, as this part’s larger than I thought it would be. Shall we call it ‘making up for lost time’, then? Yes. Let’s do that

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Did I link to this article before? / Die Vogelgrippe?? on November 3rd, 2005

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Sept 2009) on September 22nd, 2009


Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2014): Part I

typed for your pleasure on 4 November 2014, at 10.39 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Providence’ by Black to comm

This time, I offer no apologies for the lack of news about Dolls and Gynoids for last month, as there wasn’t a lot on offer. But just within the past fortnight and a half, quite a bit of news has materialised! Which is good! *rubs hands together*

+ The first Gynoid in media that I can distinctly recall falling in love with would be Cherry 2000, expertly portrayed by Pamela Gidley. Cherry made first place in my top ten sexiest Gynoids list, as you’ll recall. Maybe I should make an updated version of that post one of these days… But moreso than any other actress, Pamela’s role as a pleasant and accomodating affictitious lover opened my eyes to the possibilities of ‘the Synthetik option’. So that was me, back then. Perhaps if I’d have been old enough to have watched ‘My living Doll‘ upon its initial airing back in 1964, it would’ve been Julie Newmar as AF-709 Rhoda that would’ve sparked (pun somewhat intended) my desire. But I’d like to think that back in Germany in 1927, at least a handful of individuals were considering their own artificial lover thanks to Maria, the sinister-but-curvaceous Gynoid from Fritz Lang’s masterpiece, ‘Metropolis’.

What we have here is the end result of the Canadian art group Kropserkel Inc. and WSM Art Management of Germany, who have created a life-sized restoration of Maria, as the original prop/armour is understood to have been destroyed during a fire on the film’s set in 1926. What’s really fascinating is that Kropserkel Inc weren’t just winging it with attempting to reproduce the design; the ‘WSM’ in WSM Art Management stands for Walter Schulze-Mittendorff, the original designer and sculptor of Maria under the auspices of Fritz Lang. So essentially, Kropserkel Inc made their replica by using the plans and notes of the original from 1925.


Brigitte Helm not included

Their goal is to exhibit the finished piece at various events and film festivals, as well as produce additional replicas. If your pockets are overflowing with cash, you can purchase a 1:1 scale display figure for only $8500 USD. Now pause so you can wipe off the beverage you just spritzed onto your monitor.
Still, Kropserkel Inc are bringing an iconic character back into the present with their efforts! Only really, Maria never went away. In fact, with the current rate of robotic progress, she’s probably closer now than ever… Learn more about the Maria project here: http://www.kropserkel.com/robot.html

+ Abyss creations have released another new face for their RealDoll 2 line. This comely lass is known as Olivia, but once she’s yours, you can name her whatever you like. Like Olivier, I dunno. Maybe you’ll wanna run your choices by her.


‘Yeah, sorry; “Bolivia” isn’t an option, either’

The first configuration listed on Abyss’ website has the face combined with the RealDoll 2 Body A, but you’ll be able to combine her with other body types as well. Very nice!

+ Only three days before my birthday this month, the First International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots will be taking place! Will I be in attendance for it, to perhaps speak with and shake the hand of David Levy himself, amongst other committee members? Well, it’s in Madeira, Portugal. I mean, Jesus, people; you might as well hold it on the Moon.

Within the fields of Human-Computer Interaction and Human-Robot Interaction, the past few years have witnessed a strong upsurge of interest in the more personal aspects of human relationships with these artificial partners. This upsurge has not only been apparent amongst the general public, as evidenced by an increase in coverage in the print media, TV documentaries and feature films, but also within the academic community.

Congress sessions are planned on the following topics, inter alia:

• Robot Emotions
• Humanoid Robots
• Clone Robots
• Entertainment Robots
• Robot Personalities
• Teledildonics
• Intelligent electronic sex hardware
• Gender Approaches
• Affective Approaches
• Psychological Approaches
• Sociological Approaches
• Roboethics
• Philosophical Approaches

No, there’d be absolutely no reason for me to be there at all. None whatsoever. Now I wonder what could be causing my eye to be twitching all of a sudden?

+ Patrick Wise made a delightful announcement regarding his beautiful Private Island Beauties, which will follow after this related picture of an improved Doll bum that he’s made:


Like grabbing a sexy… loaf of… bread. I got nothin’. Which should be obvious

We have a wonderful new softness to our dolls! The tush is now nearly as soft as the tata’s!! Actually, the whole body has a fantastic new softness. Squeezable and extra fun for play. We are not charging any extra for this upgrade. We are sure that it will add considerably to your enjoyment of your doll. This way, you have the lasting quality of platinum silicone… with the softness you have been hoping for!!

The photo above should be proof enough, but you can also find video evidence on the Private Island Beauties website that shows how the new silicone formula being used makes for a Doll you can really sink your hands into. I suppose this is what the Germans mean with the term Gummipuppen?

As shown above, the studio have also released the all-new Mina head, suitable for use with all three PIB bodies. This head is classifed as ‘Oral’, which is a capability that will allow you to store a couple of spare AA batteries in her mouth, for emergencies. Or perhaps marbles, if you have some really valuable aggies you want to hide away. Whatever you may decide to slide into her mouth — USB sticks, LEGO minifigs, &c. — I’m sure you’ll agree Mina is a fine addition to the Private Island Beauty head collection!

+ Do you recall back round 2005, when we had an endless stream of Gynoids making their debuts? The first version of Actroid, Repliee Q1, Repliee Q1Expo, all the affictitious lasses that appeared at the Aichi Robot Expo, the first Actroid DER… good times. Revolutionary times! Now it seems that nine years later, we’re getting another wave of new Gynoids coming down the pike. Otonaroid and Kodomoroid, Tuma Urman and Alisa Zelenogradova from Russia, Geminoid-F, Android Asuna, and joining them, Chihiro Aiko, manufactured by the world-famous company, Toshiba.

This comely young artificial lady, who made her own stunning debut at CEATEC 2014 — Japan’s version of the Consumer Electronics Show — is powered by an air servo system and an air compressor, and like her artificial sisters, has realistic silicone skin. She sports 43 actuators, including 15 in her head for facial expression and head movement. Combining those, she’s able to use (Japanese) sign language in a reasonably fluid manner, and will be programmed with English Sign Language relatively soon. Like most current-day artificial humans, she’s being groomed for developmental use as either a greeter or a staffer for businesses, or to interact with the hard of hearing or the elderly. Their goal is for both the physical technology and her software to be up to par enough so that she can be employed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.


They couldn’t have put, say, a prop computer on her desk or something?

Regarding that white barrier/bumrest thing behind our Chihiro, fellow robosexual Vokabre says on his blog, ‘This stand is not only serves as an actual stand, but also as as a way to hide piping to the compressor and cables to the internal hardware. To compare, standing Actroids rely on the special “stage” that has hardware and a compressor hidden inside. Compressor and the main computer for Chi Aiko are either stand somewhere on the side of the robot, or are hidden behind a banner.’ Well, we all need support sometimes in our lives.

Personally, I think it’s fantastic that a major electronics firm such as Toshiba is producing a Gynoid like Chihiro; my hope is that other major companies will see the success that Toshiba will have with her, and get into the robotics industry themselves as competitors. And everybody wins!
Hitoshi Tokuda, manager of the company’s marketing group in the new business development division, has been quoted as saying, ‘We wanted to develop a sign-language robot because it’s challenging technologically, requiring speed and precision movements… [A robot like Chihiro] needs a humanlike appearance and expression because a C-3PO appearance wouldn’t work.’ Which is what I’ve been saying for years.
Curiously enough, despite that video being Toshiba’s official release, it doesn’t show her speaking, so have a look at this one:

Of course, if you didn’t have all that ambient CEATEC noise going on in the background, one might’ve been able to hear her better, but you get the idea. Looking forward to discovering more about Ms Chihiro Aiko in the near future!

That’s it for this half; before the second part is published, there will be a brief intermission while I drink several draughts of Gatorade and furiously finish typing that post up

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Feb 2013) on February 1st, 2013

Any Synthetiks-related news, Davecat? (Nov 2014): Part II on November 21st, 2014


Easier than moving actual Synthetiks around, that’s for sure / Toot toot

typed for your pleasure on 7 October 2014, at 10.10 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Past majesty’ by Demdike stare

People love that 2048! Well, I’m assuming that people love 2048. Then again, I normally assume people even know what I’m on about, and if they don’t, that’s par for the course…
2048 is a game I just recently discovered that involves sliding tiles, each of which is numbered sequentially starting from 2. Using your arrow keys, you match up the tiles until you have gained satisfaction, or run out of moves. I’m led to believe that 2048 is based off the iOS game 1024. In any case, both of them involve math, so I can’t be bothered.
Internet online website usvsth3m, a spinoff of the amusing b3ta.com, developed a version of 2048 which uses picture tiles instead on numerical ones, for those of us who equate the use of numbers to witchcraft. The game is Flash-based, so you can make your own version! And so I have, and it’s exactly what you’d expect.


So which one of them is Ann B. Davis?

Click here for non-stop image-related excitement: 2048: Super Synthetik Girls Edition by Davecat. Why not play a couple of rounds while awaiting your bus, your date, or the grave??
As it uses the guest Gravatars on this blog, it just reminds me that a lot of those are old pics, and I really could stand to make some new ones. But that reeks of effort!

In other, more horn-trumpeting news, back in February, I was contacted by Dr Bertalan Meskó, medical doctor and medical futurist, concerning getting my thoughts on how humanoid robots will effect social change. He’d fired a few questions at me, and my responses ended up in his latest book, ‘The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Technology AND The Human Touch’. I’m really glad he’d asked! Apart from robots, his book also spans emerging trends such as stem cells, cryonics, prosthetic limbs, and more as well — in short, the future of medicine. You can order a physical copy for yourself, or a digimal version for your hoity-toity Kindle, here on Amazon.

And this very week-end, the Missus, our mistress, our flatmate, and I will have another film crew observing us in our natural habitat. This film crew is headed by another doctor, one who paints in her spare time, and she wants to get my insights as far as how recent technological advances are influencing our relationships and interactions. As she doesn’t seem like a pop psychologist — ‘Dr’ Phil, I’m squinting in your general direction — I’m looking forward to speaking about how being an iDollator has changed my life for the better, and how having a Gynoid, an Android, or a Doll as a partner can do the same for thousands of individuals. Also, it’s a much nicer change of having a camera crew come round when it’s not boiling Summertime, but then, everything’s better when it’s not boiling Summertime. Fact.

O, and expect a couple of new Synthetiks-related news posts relatively soon, as just recently, there’s been a handful of noteworthy things worth writing notes posts about

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

It's funny cos it's true on November 1st, 2005

You've got questions, we've got... I dunno on June 9th, 2005


A cruise, improved

typed for your pleasure on 17 August 2014, at 7.52 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Island of birds’ by Sven Libaek

As periodic readers of ‘Shouting etc etc’ are already aware, there’s not a single thing that I like about the annual Woodward Dream cruise. I’ve mentioned why before, so I’ll not go on about it again if you’re a new visitor; you are welcome. One of the main issues that I have with it, apart from the fact that the event hampers the mobility of local non-participants, or the lack of logic of taking part in such an event when regular petrol is hovering just under $4 a gallon, is that the cars are large, ungainly, and mostly unsightly. Sorry, klassic kruisers, your cars are simply too goddamned big. The only exception to that aesthetic choice would be the 1970 Plymouth Superbird, as it is so comically overproportioned it’s awesome. And classic hearses; you can’t go wrong with those, either.

In making my way down Woodward earlier last week on the way home, I’d seen the safety orange advisory signs bolted to normal traffic signs, reminding people that the week-end of the 16th would be taken over by the Nightmare cruise. What if, I thought to myself, what if all those giant landboats were replaced with smart little classic foreign autos instead? Well, for one, I’d be out on the sidewalk every year, taking footage of the endless stream of European and Japanese cars. Cars such as


the Alpine A110


the Citroën 2CV


the BMW Isetta


the Jaguar E-type


the Toyota Sports 800


the Messerschmitt KR200


the Studebaker Avanti (yes, I’m well aware this is an American vehicle, but it gets a pass)


and the Subaru 360, amongst others. And although I’d fully expect to see both the modern and classic versions of the Fiat 500, the MINI, and the Volkswagen Beetle is that those selections are pretty much a given.
And since ‘classic’ is a loose descriptor, I’d get some automobiles from the glorious Eighties in there as well.


the Citroën Karin Concept, from 1980


the Renault Fuego (I have a soft spot for these, as it was the third car my parents ever had)


the Toyota TAC3 Concept, which looks an awful lot like the Livecougar, the jeep from Chojuu sentai Liveman


and you can’t properly represent the Eighties without some DeLoreans in there. And I’ve noticed that two of the four cars I’d just listed never made it into production. Huh.

This new, more Continental/Japanese-flavoured Cruise would also have allowances for relatively modern cars with retro styling, such as the Nissan Pao, the Nissan Figaro, or the Mazda Autozam AZ-1. In a lot of ways, modern cars with classic appearances combine the best of both worlds: they don’t have the generically bland ‘style’ of contemporary vehicles, but they possess features that older cars didn’t have, such as power steering and air conditioning.

Micro- to mid-sized cars are fantastic! They take up very little space, and more importantly, they don’t scream to the world that you’re making up for some other, more personal, shortcomings! And really, I’m not what you would describe as a ‘car guy’. Meaning, I don’t give a toss about torque, or horsepower, or technical details such as that. I like the cars that I like due almost strictly to their aesthetics.
There’s a whole bunch of cars I’d not mentioned, as I didn’t want this post to be as long as the cruise it would describe. But would you have a make and/or model of car you’d like to see in the improved Dream cruise? Why not mention it in the comments below?

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

'Here in my car / I feel safest of all' on June 25th, 2008

Moderns on January 29th, 2007


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